Guiseppe Walter Cortese, otherwise known as Wally, is a first generation Italian American. His mother died when Wally was 2 years old, and his father never remarried.
Wally served in the US Navy during both World War II and the Korean War. During WWII, from 1943 to 1946, he was a tail gunner in European Theater, stationed in Africa and Italy. He flew bombing missions over Italy. One of his best memories is of the men, standing and singing ‘Silent Night’ in the middle of the African desert on Christmas Eve. In the Korea War, from 1950 to 1953, he served aboard a carrier which took the first army jets to Korea. On the return trip, the entire hangar deck was covered with litter cases.
Wally has been married to his wife Doris for 62 years. They have 7 children, one of whom has been a missionary in the Philippines for 35 years, and one who graduated from West Point, but unfortunately passed away last year. They also have 14 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren, along with an 8-year-old Maltese name Piccolo.
Wally and Doris moved to Cape Coral in 2010 from Michigan. Wally was a licensed builder in Michigan, and worked in the printing and distribution industry. They are active members of the Presbyterian Christian Church, and Doris is very active in the community. (Wally spends his time driving Doris around to meetings and events.)
Wally enjoys teaching bible study, reading, playing cards, and watching sports (not the NFL.) His favorite thing to do in Cape Coral is to try all the different restaurants available. The best part of living in The Cape: the quality of life, it’s convenient to everything and the weather.
Serving in two different wars certainly makes Wally a Hometown Hero who deserves our recognition and gratitude. Thank you, Wally, for fighting to protect our rights and freedoms.